Penny Dreadful : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: May 11, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3
Penny Dreadful Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 398 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In Victorian London, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), and American Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) encounter Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn) in this psychosexual horror series created by John Logan.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Suspense

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    May 12, 2014
    100
    What makes Penny click is the chemistry among the characters, especially the psychic and the gunslinger, who end up seducing the viewer with their seductive encounters. They make you forget this is an action show
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 7, 2014
    83
    This John Logan creation promises an intriguing summer pastime, for an eight-week run anyway.
  3. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    May 9, 2014
    80
    Penny Dreadful is a smart, self-referential Dracula vs. the Wolf-Man vs. Frankenstein concept delivering the scares, chills and laughs that summer TV needs.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 7, 2014
    75
    It's a Frankenstory made with borrowed bits and recycled parts that could evolve into its own vibrant creation.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 9, 2014
    70
    There’s style, B-movie charm, and a few great performances to be found in the bloody heart of Penny Dreadful.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    May 8, 2014
    70
    The production and period values are outstanding, as is the cast, especially Timothy Dalton as famed African explorer Sir Malcolm Murray.... As creator John Logan moves away from the horror by the Thames and more toward the internal demons that haunt his protagonists, Penny veers toward the overwritten and overwrought. But by then, you may well be in for a pound.
  7. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    May 9, 2014
    40
    Overall, it took Once Upon a Time a season to fall flat; Penny Dreadful does that immediately.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 56
  2. Negative: 6 out of 56
  1. May 21, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Watched episode two last night with my two late teenage boys - and for the first time ever they put their iphones down and actually watched the screen - yes it was that good, especially when Eva Green did the séance scene, she deserves a Tony, Bafta, Oscar and every other gong going for that scene (although the F in C did help!) Expand
  2. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    At first, I was pretty skeptical about this show. I admit, the first episode is that typical type of first episode in which the plot is laidAt first, I was pretty skeptical about this show. I admit, the first episode is that typical type of first episode in which the plot is laid out, all the characters are introduced, and everything is so very formulaic. Things are explained and there are several 'What the **** do you people do?' statements peppered in generously in accordance with the genre. I have yet to watch a supernaturaly themed show without some variation of those words in the script. I have to say, I'm very glad I watched the second episode because that's where it really gets going. The characters are well-defined and interesting. The references to literature aren't wasted on those with even the lightest knowledge of Victorian fiction. The costumes match the show perfectly and firmly underscore each character. It's not a visually stunning sort of series and the visuals can be a bit dreary in accordance with the subject matter. The show prefers to gain your interest on a more auditory and emotional level. The poetry throughout is breathtaking in true Victorian fashion. The show delivers haunting monologues on life, death, and the isolation suffered by those who are different through the lenses of characters who couldn't be played more convincingly by any of the actors involved. The storytelling is sometimes eclipsed by the amount of time given to character development, but it's not a big issue. It makes some things quietly apparent and leaves you to draw your own conclusions about others. The show is as deeply emotional as the floweriest of poetry, gory like the best Gothic horror story, and full of steamy scenes and emotional payoff like the best romances. It's not for everyone, but I'd recommend it to fans of the supernatural genre, fans of Victorian literature, and fans of classic monster tales like Frankenstein's monster and Dracula. It's also good if you just like hearing lovely accents. There are plenty of those to go around with a mostly British cast and the lovely Josh Hartnett doing his best Southern drawl. Expand
  3. May 12, 2014
    10
    I watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all theI watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all the main characters and it will be fun to watch the various monsters and villains integrate in future episodes. As for the critics, most have it right; yet a few of them want to kill a promising series before it gets up and running. This is a fun TV series, the real horror show is going on in Washington, so if you want to vent negativity you should have more than ample material there if you, or you employer have the guts to cover it. Expand
  4. Jul 20, 2014
    9
    First couple of episodes were tremendous. Fast and shockingly scary moments. Nice, crisp acting and script.. I absolutely love this showFirst couple of episodes were tremendous. Fast and shockingly scary moments. Nice, crisp acting and script.. I absolutely love this show and I am looking forward to season 2. Expand
  5. May 18, 2014
    8
    Penny Dreadful's premise/plot is hard to describe, but I will do my best.
    It is sort of like, a darker, "Sanctuary", set in England, in the
    Penny Dreadful's premise/plot is hard to describe, but I will do my best.
    It is sort of like, a darker, "Sanctuary", set in England, in the 19th century.
    The series follows a group of interesting characters with unique traits and dark pasts as they explore the horrific world of the supernatural as it creeps into their regular lives.

    The show is artistic, dark, well-scripted and acted and does a fantastic job taking preconceived literary marvels and making them fresh and interesting again, reintroducing us to the classic characters we love to hate or fear.

    So far, my only issue with Penny Dreadful is that it is slightly confusing and a bit cryptic. Additionally, I'm not sure the events of each episode are relayed in the order that would feel the most cohesive. It jumps around between characters and their situations sort of like the typical soap opera, making the show feel slightly like Frankenstein -- stitched together rather than one smooth flowing story.

    As this is a "Showtime" series, there is lots of completely pointless, unnecessary sex that has nothing to do with the plot and lots of prostitutes. I could do without both.
    Expand
  6. May 30, 2014
    5
    So far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, andSo far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and Dorian Gray all getting tossed into the pot. There's no compelling story so far, no real reason to root for any of the characters, who are very flat and wooden. For a horror show it's not very scary, it's actually kind of dull. The recently cancelled Dracula on NBC had its issues, but it had some great character development, an interesting plot, and it was way more entertaining than this. I do like Billie Piper, I remember her from Secret Diaries of a Call Girl and she brings life to the show in her scenes. I'll keep watching for now, but they need to develop some decent story arcs. Expand
  7. Aug 6, 2016
    0
    Hi guys dis is naveen.In penny dreadful s01e05 there has been a racist dialouge by peter refering indians to 'filthy wogs' even though theHi guys dis is naveen.In penny dreadful s01e05 there has been a racist dialouge by peter refering indians to 'filthy wogs' even though the series is about 1800's it is being directed and produced in 20th century and they are using these kind of racist dialouges this is not cool.British people they might have ruled India and they thieved so much from India but thats in the past.We Indians are very humble people and respectful to others but we will not tolerate these kind of statements and dialouges. Expand

See all 56 User Reviews

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